About Vertical Elevation

We help companies create maximum efficiency by aligning talent strategy to business strategy.

Vertical Elevation is a talent equity and leadership and coaching advisory firm specializing in strategic business planning, leadership development, and career coaching. By tackling the root causes of high employee turnover and low workplace morale, we motivate and inspire our clients to create and sustain a healthy, talent-centric company that runs at maximum efficiency.

For nearly 30 years, we’ve helped businesses avoid making repeat mistakes by developing confident, competent leadership teams that allow your company to run like a well-oiled machine.

Meet Our Team

Carol-Shultz
Carol Schultz
Founder & CEO
Barb Van Hare
Barb Van Hare
Partner at Vertical Elevation
Darlene Craven
Darlene Craven
CPRW, Lead Resume Writer

Carol Schultz

Founder & CEO

Carol Schultz is a talent equity and leadership coaching and advisory expert, and Founder/CEO at Vertical Elevation. Recognized for her proficiency in corporate leadership, Carol has spent nearly three decades helping executives gain clarity in their careers, creating a culture of performance for their teams, and making bold leadership moves. A firm believer in supporting executives to become more confident leaders, she has advised countless individuals and companies from Seed stage pre-IPOs to publicly traded companies. 

Over the past 29 years, she honed her industry expertise and formed an intrinsic understanding of successful recruiting processes. For many years the industry standard began with a strong resume. While an individual’s background is an element of recruitment, Carol believes the person behind that resume and their fit to company strategy and culture is the key building stone to company performance.

Armed with this knowledge, she designed and launched Vertical Elevation, a fresh approach to an industry that truly needed a paradigm shift to a recruiting and hiring process that incorporates the executive management team’s core values and permeates every aspect of the hiring process.

As an advisor to corporations Carol makes a stand for best practices to attract and retain the best and the brightest. In guiding individuals, she applies straightforward tools in taking their leadership skills and careers to the next level. Though the depth of Carol’s experience has been in the tech industry, her process is “industry-agnostic” and will work in a variety of industries.

Taking corporations and executives to the top with cutting-edge strategies for building high-performing teams is what gets Carol up in the morning. It is her commitment to making a difference that has clients coming back for more.

A St. Louis native, Carol moved to New Jersey following graduate school and settled there for 16 years. She relocated to Colorado in 2003. When she’s not running Vertical Elevation, she spends her free time riding her Rocky Mountain Horses, working hard in her garden, and enjoying all the outdoor activities that living in America’s playground offers. She’s a foster mom for Animal Rescue of the Rockies and is the parent of a rescued Australian Cattle Dog mix, and a small herd of rescued cats. Carol holds a BS degree from the University of Montana and an MS degree from the University of Michigan.

Barb Van Hare

Partner at Vertical Elevation

Barb believes leaders and teams should have more range, resiliency, and meaning in their work. Backed by more than 26 years of experience as a Leadership Coach, Talent Development Leader, and Change Consultant, is passionate about helping leaders navigate complexity and uses proven tools such as Emergenetics® and Leadership Circle™ 360 assessments in her leadership training. She is a Dare to Lead™ Facilitator, on faculty for the Co-Active Training Institute (CTI) and a Professional Certified Coach with the ICF.

Her extensive consulting experience at Accenture and IBM Global Services paired with her background as Director of Talent Development at First Data and TWTelecom make Barb an unparalleled force in leadership and talent development.

To add to her impressive list of accomplishments, Barb enjoys a multi-generational, multi-family living situation affectionately known as ‘The Compound’ in the Denver suburbs. Along with her husband and two teenage boys are her mother and brother’s family. This means 5 adults, 5 teenagers, 2 dogs, a cat, and endless opportunities to enjoy good food, outdoor adventures, and bad dad jokes together.

Darlene Craven

CPRW, Lead Resume Writer

With an English teacher grandmother, who was a published author in her own right, Darlene comes by her talent for telling other people’s stories honestly. Her passion for helping people find their true north is what led her to resume writing. Crafting a resume that compels the reader to act takes skill, focus, and the ability to ask the right questions. Darlene has spent the last thirteen years honing those skills and guiding hundreds of clients and students to greatness. She’s been writing resumes and LinkedIn profiles for Vertical Elevation’s career clients since 2010. Her portfolio of resumes includes sales, executive management, technology, logistics and operations, engineering, and professional curriculum vitae.

In addition to her substantial writing skills, Darlene also has edited numerous self-help books, annual corporate reports, and legal documents. In 2019, Darlene added to her legal skill set by obtaining a certificate in paralegal from the Community College of Aurora. She has a BS degree in history from the University of Montana.

When Darlene isn’t writing resumes or articles for a rodeo news magazine, she is throwing kids on sheep and feeding cowboys as a volunteer for a couple of local rodeo committees. Other favorites include hiking, listening to live music, dancing, and reading by the pool.